Volvo to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Three-Point Safety Belt - VIDEO STORY


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GOTHENBURG - August 4, 2009: On August 13, 2009, Volvo Cars will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the standard-fit three point safety belts, which appeared for the first time on a Volvo PV544 delivered Thursday August 13, 1959 to a Volvo dealer in the Swedish town of Kristianstad. Over the next 50 years, the V-shaped three-point safety belt saved well over one million lives. The modern safety belt is the cornerstone of the car's interior safety system, working alongside additional features such as airbags, belt pre-tensioners and force limiters.


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Safety – a never ending Volvo commitment


A tagline in a Volvo ad from the past stated, “every year is a road safety year at Volvo”. And the safety history of Volvo Car Corporation proves that this is true. The track record includes some 75 ground-braking safety innovations since the company was founded in 1927.

Volvo Car Corporation had a human-based philosophy already from the start. The founders of Volvo, Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, stated: “Cars are driven by people – the guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is and must remain – safety.”

Safety cage and laminated windscreen
The safety cage and the laminated windscreen, both introduced in the Volvo PV 444 in the 1940’s were among the first important safety features in Volvo cars. The most prominent of all the innovations is of course the three-point safety belt in 1959, considered to be one of the most life-saving technical innovations in the history of mankind. The first rearward-facing child safety seat prototype was developed and tested back in 1964 (introduced 1972) and the Side Impact Protection System from 1991 are a couple of other classic examples.

Own Road Accident Research Team
In 1970, Volvo Cars established its own Road Traffic Accident Research Team to study and learn from accidents involving Volvo cars. The team has injected vital knowledge into Volvo’s research and development during its 35 years of operation. In recent years, the development of new safety features has continued, including world firsts in the Volvo S80, Volvo XC90, the all-new Volvo S40 and Volvo V50.

Safety innovations year by year
Here follows a complete list of all important safety features introduced during the history of Volvo Cars.

1940’s
1944 Safety cage
1944 Laminated windscreen

1950’s
1954 Defroster vents for windscreen
1956 Windscreen washers
1957 Anchor points for 2-point safety belts front
1958 Anchor points for 2-point safety belts rear
1959 3-point front safety belts standard

1960’s
1960 Padded instrument panel
1964 Disc brakes front
1964 First rearward-facing child safety seat prototype tested
1966 Rear windscreen defroster
1966 Disc brakes all around
1966 Dual split triangular braking system
1966 Crumple zones front and rear
1966 Safety door-locks
1967 Safety belt rear seats
1968 Head restraints front
1969 Interia reel safety belts
1969 Heated rear windscreen

1970’s
1971 Reminder safety belt
1972 3-point safety belts – rear
1972 Rearward-facing child safety seat
1972 Childproof locks on rear doors
1972 Warning lights (hazard)
1973 Side collision protection
1973 Collapsible steering wheel
1974 Energy absorbing bumpers
1974 Safe location of fuel tank
1974 Multistage impact absorbing steering column
1974 Bulb integrity sensor
1974 Headlight wiper/washer
1975 Day running lamps
1975 Braking system with stepped bore master cylinder
1978 Child safety booster cushion

1980’s
1982 “Anti-submarining” protection
1982 Fog lamps front
1982 Fog lamps rear
1982 Warning lights in opened door
1982 Wide angle rear view mirror
1984 ABS anti-locking brakes
1985 ETC – Electronic Traction Control
1986 Brake lights in rear window
1986 Three-point safety belt centre rear seat
1987 Mechanical safety belt pre-tensioner
1987 Airbag – driver

1990’s
1990 Integrated child safety cushion in centre rear seat
1991 SIPS – Side Impact Protection System
1991 Automatic height adjusting safety belt
1992 Reinforced rear seats in estate models
1992 Passenger airbag front
1993 Three-point inertia-reel safety belts - all rear positions
1994 SIPS-bag, side airbag
1995 DSA – Dynamic Stability Assistance
1995 Integrated child safety cushion outer rear seats
1997 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (C70)
1998 WHIPS – Whiplash Protection System
1998 IC – Inflatable Curtain
1998 STC – Stability and Traction Control
1998 DSTC – Dynamic Stability and Traction Control
1998 EBD – Electronic Brake Distribution

2000’s
2000 ISOFIX anchorages with rearward-facing child safety seat
2000 Dual Stage Airbag
2001 SCC – Volvo Safety Concept Car
2002 RSC – Roll Stability Control
2002 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (XC90)
2002 New integrated child seat 2nd row (XC90)
2002 Lower Cross Member (XC90)
2002 New compatible front design (XC90)
2002 Safe 3rd row seats (XC90)
2002 New Front Structure (XC90)
2003 New Front Structure (S40, V50)
2003 IDIS – Intelligent Driver Information System
2004 BLIS – Blind Spot Information System
2004 Water repellent glass


Click PLAY to watch Volvo's 80th Anniversary video


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